BCGDV supports Digital Boost launch to help charities digitise

10 June 2020 3 min. read

BCG Digital Ventures has partnered with Founders4Schools to launch a new volunteering platform linking UK organisations with digital experts. Digital Boost aims to support the digital transformations of six million British small businesses and charities impacted by Covid-19.

The Covid-19 crisis has placed many small organisations with little digital presence under massive strain. Being forced to shut physical locations, many small businesses and charities have no online revenue streams to fall back on. As consumers are expected to remain online post COVID-19, small businesses and charities with a limited online presence will miss out on an ever-growing portion of business.

In a move to counteract this trend, BCG Digital Ventures (BCGDV) has worked pro-bono with charity Founders4Schools – which works to connect teachers to business experts in their community – to support the creation of Digital Boost.

London based Managing Director at BCGDV Ajay Chowdhury commented, “There are some services out there supporting small businesses on various fronts through the Covid-19 crisis, yet our research has shown that none of them really serve the specific needs of the UK’s small businesses and charities that need quick and pragmatic help to digitalise in order to survive. That is why we founded Digital Boost. We respond to the individual needs of small businesses and charities and allocate volunteers to help them in pragmatic and quick ways.”BCGDV supports Digital Boost launch to help charities digitiseFounded in 2014 as the venture wing of Boston Consulting Group, BCGDV is a corporate innovation, incubation, and investment firm. The group works to invent, launch, scale, and invest in industry-changing new businesses with the world’s most influential companies. Now in its sixth year, BCGDV has expanded its footprint across the globe, with innovation centres and satellite locations in four continents. The group is also providing digital expert volunteers to Digital Boost, alongside top the likes of Google, Oxford University, McCann and Global Tech Advocates – all of whom will mentor small businesses and charities.

The mentors will help Digital Boost provide its three service offerings to help equip small businesses and charities with essential digital skills. These consist of “Boost Calls”, one-to-one mentoring sessions with digital volunteers; “Boost Workshops”, interactive group master-classes, run by digital experts; and “Boost Skills”, which provides useful online content on digitalisation.

Founders4Schools will take ownership of Digital Boost, and Chair Sherry Coutu remarked, “In the past, many leaders of small businesses and charities have struggled with building up a significant online presence. COVID-19 has exposed this lag in digitalisation in dramatic ways. We want to help those who work in and lead small businesses and charities to survive the Covid-19 crisis and be more competitive in the long-run in today’s increasingly digital and online world.”

Digital Boost has already supported a number of small businesses and charities, including Teens in AI, a UK-based charity, and Astrum Wine Cellars, a UK-based wine and spirit business. In the past, Astrum’s revenues were driven primarily through the hospitality industry. Amid the Covid-19 lock-down, Digital Boost helped Astrum launch their first digital advertisements, helping the group quickly shift its focus to selling directly to consumers through online channels, and to stay open for business throughout Covid-19.

The support mechanism Digital Boost offers comes as welcome news to the Government, and Caroline Dinenage, Minister for Digital and Culture said, "It is vital small businesses and charities are able to seize the benefits of modern technology. The new Digital Boost platform will help these organisations develop the skills they need. We look forward to helping build a community of digital experts, who are able to offer guidance and support to these organisations free of charge at this challenging time.”